Course Descriptions

The course descriptions are listed below.

Prerequisite Grade

All prerequisites must be passed with a grade of C- or better.


Lower Division Courses

001 Introduction to Personal-Social Psychology

A survey of personality theory and assessment, social, developmental and clinical psychology with special attention to the pervasive influences of culture, gender and ethnicity. Satisfies Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding of the Core Curriculum.

002 Introduction to Brain and Behavior
An exploration of the scope and methods of physiological and experimental psychology.

 003 Psychological Methods and Analysis I
This course is the first part of a two-semester sequence of courses that presents a survey of the complementary methodologies frequently used within the field of psychology. An emphasis will be placed upon the collection and analysis of data, with a focus on non-experimental methods and descriptive statistics. Students who enroll in this course must register for Psychology 103 in the following semester. Does not satisfy an Area B requirement of the pre-2012 general education requirements. Prerequisite: competence in basic algebra.

008 African American Psychology and Law (fall)/ The African American Family and Law (spring)***

The course examines various aspects of African-American psychology. In the fall, the course focuses on improving one’s understanding of the dynamics of being black in an urban society by exploring psychological forces and influences that proliferate racism, subordination, dehumanization and victimization. In the spring the course focuses on the historical background of the black family from a psychological perspective, including personality development, black masculinity, parental roles, extended family and alternative lifestyles that impact the black family. Both semesters explore how the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court decisions have affected public policy issues within a psycho-social context. Satisfies American Diversity of the Core Curriculum. 

012 Special Topics in Psychology***
Selected areas of psychology not covered by the regular department course offerings. Topics are announced prior to preregistration. Course may be repeated for credit as content varies. Potential topics include: psychology of racism; psychology in the courtroom; psychology of religion; sports psychology; environmental psychology.

013 Meditation (.25)
Students learn to use the Jose Silva theory of meditation to enhance performance and wellbeing. Exercises are offered in stress reduction for the improvement of sports performance, for the enhancement of prayer life, and other areas of student interest. Course offered on a pass/ fail basis only. Does not count toward the major. 

014 Advanced Meditation (.25)

Building upon the skills and knowledge gained in Meditation 13, students continue with more advanced aspects of the theory and practice of meditation. Course offered on a pass/fail basis only. Does not count toward the major. Prerequisite: Psychology 13


Upper Division Courses

100 Seminar in Psychology
An investigation of the history and philosophical foundations of modern psychology. Emphasis is on basic issues of psychology, emerging in the long philosophical tradition of Western civilization, which ground psychology as an empirical human science. Prerequisite: Senior psychology major or consent of instructor.

103 Psychological Methods and Analysis II

This course is the second part of a two-semester sequence of courses that presents a survey of the complementary methodologies frequently used within the field of psychology. An emphasis will be placed upon the collection and analysis of data, with a focus on experi­mental methods and inferential statistics. Does not satisfy an Area B requirement of the pre-2012 general education requirements. This course satisfies the Writing in the Writing in the Disciplines requirement of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: Psychology 3.

104 Special Topics in Assessment and Testing*
This course will offer an examination of testing topics such as norms, reliability, validity and item analysis within the context of an applied area of psychology such as forensic, counseling or cross-cultural. Special attention will be given to the use of tests and the role of testing in society. Course may be repeated for credit as content varies. Prerequisites: Psychology 3, 103.

 105 Advanced Psychological Statistics***

Advanced research methods for evaluating psychological data utilizing SPSS. Topics generally include: theoretical sampling distribution, probability, decision theory, multiple analysis of variance, multiple regression analysis and factor analysis. Prerequisites: Psychology 3, 103. Does not satisfy an Area B requirement of the pre-2012 general education requirements. 

 106 Experimental Research* 

A study of the logic of experimentation as applied to psychological problems through selected experiments in sensation, perception, cognition, learning and motivation. Laboratory fee $50. Does not satisfy an Area B requirement of the pre-2012 general education requirements. Prerequisites: Psychology 2, 3, 103.

110 Psychobiology
Examines the complex interaction of nature and nurture underlying the behavior of animals and humans, and the methods used to investigate this interaction. An overview of the anatomical, neural and neurochemical bases of behavior in both normal and clinical cases is provided. Learning is enhanced through laboratory activities of dissection, computer models and electrophysiological techniques. Laboratory fee $125. Does not satisfy an Area B requirement of the pre-2012 general education requirements. Prerequisites: Psychology 1, 2

113 Animal Behavior***
A study of behavior of animals, including primates and humans, and the mechanisms that control behavior at both the biological and psychological levels. Field trips may be required. Prerequisites: Psychology 1,2.

115 Health Psychology*
A study of the relationships among mental processes, behavior and physical health with an emphasis on the role of psychology in prevention and treatment of illness as well as promoting optimum health. Prerequisites: Psychology 1, 2; or Psychology 1, Biology 15; or Biology 25.

126 Sensation and Perception*
Examines the cognitive and physiological processes responsible for the acquisition and mental representation of sensory information. Prerequisite: Psychology 110.

127 Cognitive Science*
Examines how organisms acquire and use information provided by experience and how such information is represented in memory. The course covers the major theories in learning and memory, and the mechanisms and processes by which knowledge is used for the control of behavior. Prerequisite: Psychology 2.

 128 Neuropsychology*

A comprehensive survey of the relation between behavior and brain activity across the human lifespan, examining theory and research on such topics as neurodevelopmen­tal disorders; clinical neuropsychological assessment; and neuropharmacology, rehabilitation and functional neuroanatomy and physiology. Prerequisites: Psychology 1 and 2.

140 Human Development
An examination of the major theories of and influences on human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development. Only majors and minors in psychology may enroll in this course. All others should take 139Prerequisites: Psychology 1.

141 Infancy and Childhood*
An examination of development from conception through early childhood (0-5 years), including the biological, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development, with discussion of special topics, e.g. learning disabilities and child abuse. Students complete an in-depth case study of a child as a way to integrate course materials and naturalistic observation. Prerequisite: Psychology 140.

142 Adolescent Development*
An examination of development from late childhood through adolescence (11-18), including the biological, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural dimensions of development, with discussion of special topics, e.g., identity issues, cross-cultural issues, and high-risk behaviors. Students conduct an extensive interview which integrates an adolescent’s own experience with current research and theory. Prerequisite: Psychology 140.

143 Adult Development*
A study of the major psychological, social and cultural factors that influence development from early adulthood through old age. Students examine in depth a public policy that affects adults or families. Prerequisite: Psychology 140.

144 Middle Childhood*
The purpose of this course is to examine the key developmental tasks of middle childhood, including the development of achievement motivation, positive peer relationships, moral responsibility, self-regulation, and initial mastery of the skills important to one’s culture. Students will observe children in various settings, including school, organized sports, and informal play settings, to investigate how the peer culture influences development. This course satisfies the Community engagement requirement of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: Psychology 140.

147 Psychology of Gender*
A critical review of the theory and research on gender from the biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives. The course explores the social construction of gender and how it impacts human development and social behavior. Throughout the course, the interaction between gender and the complexities of race, culture and sexual orientation is considered. Prerequisite: Psychology 1.

148 The Exceptional Individual***
Examines individuals with special needs, be they physical, cognitive, or social/emotional. Causes, consequences, and treatment approaches are covered, as well as implications for development issues. Students will be required to visit facilities and interview individuals. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Psychology 140. 

150 Personality Psychology
A critical review of the traditional and modern theories of personality, including the psychoanalytic, neoanalytic, trait, behavioristic and humanistic perspectives, with a focus on personality development, assessment techniques, and application of theory to everyday life. Satisfies Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: Psychology 1. 

152 Clinical Psychology*
The abnormal personality with special emphasis on those afflicted with psychoneuroses, psychoses, psychosomatic reactions, brain damage, or personality disorders. PrerequisitesPsychology 1 and junior or senior standing. 

156 Personal and Professional Adjustment***
A research-oriented treatment of personal and vocational adjustment, including: stress and stress tolerance, defensive and constructive coping, social and job satisfaction, behavior modification, and interpersonal communication. Prerequisites: Psychology 1, 2. 

157 Human Sexuality*
A review of the empirical evidence on human sexuality, with a focus on historical and cultural perspectives as well as the physiological, psychological and sociological basis for sexual behavior and sexual identity.  Satisfies Community Engagement of Core Curriculum. Prerequisite: Psychology 1.

160 Social Psychology* 
An introduction to social psychology including the study of attitude formation and change, social interaction, social norms, and cultural influences on personality formation. Prerequisite: Psychology 1. Satisfies Social, Historical, and Cultural Understanding of the Core Curriculum.

 163 Prejudice and Stereotyping***
An advanced social psychological course studying prejudice and stereotyping.  Prerequisites: Psychology 1, and any one of the following: Psychology 3, Psychology 160, or Ethnic Studies 1. Fulfills the same course requirement at 165, 169, 172, or 180.

165 Cross-Cultural Psychology*
An analysis of cultural influences on human behavior. Topics include cross-cultural methodology, perception, cognition, motivation, development, attitudes and prejudice, gender, adaptive and maladaptive adjustment patterns, and the construction of self. This course includes a community service learning component with CILSA. Fulfills the diversity requirement. Satisfies American Diversity and Community Engagement of the Core Curriculum. Prerequisites: Psychology 1, 2.

 169 Attitudes and Attitude Change**

This course will examine the nature and structure of attitudes as well as the forces involves in attitude change. Applied topics such as stereotypes, group influence, marketing, and job interviews will be examined. Prerequisites: Psychology 1. 

170 Theories of Counseling*
A critical review of traditional and modern theories of counseling and psychotherapy. Prerequisites: Psychology 1, 2. 

172 Groups, Organizations and Societies**
Fundamental concepts of organizational theory as it applies to successful group functioning, with a focus on group structure and group processes, team building, group norms and group communication. Prerequisites: Psychology 1 or junior standing in psychology, business administration or sociology.

174 Psychology of the Family*
A study of family dynamics and the influences which contribute to family dysfunction. Examination includes relationships between family patterns and childhood disorders. Prerequisites: Psychology 1 and junior or senior standing in psychology.

180 Organizational Psychology**
Examines the major theoretical findings in the field concerning the relationship between the individual and the organization, including the study of motivation, leadership, decision making, power and politics, corporate culture, and organizational development. Prerequisites: Psychology 1 or junior standing in psychology, business administration or sociology.

195 Field Placement*
Students work 80 hours at a field placement site of their choosing and attend weekly class sessions. A series of papers/assignments address career and personal goals as well as the relationship between the field placement work and concepts learned in the psychology major. This course satisfies the Community Engagement requirement of the Core curriculum. Prerequisites: Psychology 103, senior standing, and approval of the course instructor. 

 197 Special Study
An independent study or research course for students whose needs are not met by the regular course offerings of the department. Permission of the sponsoring faculty member and department chair is required. 

199 Special Study-Honors
Independent study and research on campus in an area of interest to the student culminating in a written presentation of the problem, method of analysis and findings. Prerequisites: upper division standing as a psychology major, B average in upper division psychology courses already taken, consent of the instructor and the chairperson of the department. May be repeated for credit if content varies.

*offered once a year

**offered every 1-2 years

***not offered on a regular basis

Courses without asterisks are offered every semester.